By John Herfurth
Download a PDF of the Word One Bible Study for Pentecost 15B Epistle.
Text: James 2:1-10, 14-18 for the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Lectionary Series B
Participants will know they are accepted by God for who they are, accept others in the same way God accepts them and turn acceptance into action.
Form small groups of 4-6 people. Choose as leader the person who has visited the most states in the Union. The leader’s job is to keep the group moving through the material and ensure that everyone has a chance to share.
- Imagine that Jennifer Lawrence and Zac Efron showed up at your school. How would they arrive, what would they be wearing, and how would they act? Would they be treated differently than when you arrive at school? Why?
- Are there different groups, classes, or social levels at your school? Are certain people “IN” and others “OUT?” What makes some people the elite at school and others not?
- Does number two apply to your youth group? How? Why? Why not?
LOOKING AT GOD’S WORD
- Read James 2:1-5. Were people treated differently in the ancient world because of social status, wealth, and position? What about today?
- Verse two indicates that James is referring to how people are treated when they come to worship. What type of people attend your church or youth group? If a very wealthy or a very poor person showed up, would they be received and accepted?
- Read verse 5. Why does God accept us? How does God’s acceptance of us affect our acceptance of others?
- Now read James 2:6-10, 14-18. Try and figure out what kind of love is meant in verse 8. How is verse 18 connected to verse 8?
- Pick out a friend or family member who you know loves you. How do you know? Do they tell you they love you, or do they show you they love you?
REINFORCING WHAT HAS BEEN LEARNED
- How can we be sure that God really does love us? What has He done to demonstrate His love? (John 3:16)
- How can others in this group know for sure that you love them? What could you do to demonstrate your love?
- Think of someone you know who needs a little tender loving care. Keep the name to yourself, but share with the group how you are going to show that you care for them. Promise to demonstrate your love to that person this week.
The group leader begins the prayer by thanking the Lord that in Christ Jesus His love was turned into saving action. Pause to allow other members of the group to add their own petitions or thanksgivings, also including those to whom they will demonstrate their Christian faith and love in the upcoming week. The group leader wraps up the prayer by saying: “Help us, Lord, to love as You have first loved us. Amen.”
Originally published in Discovery Bible Studies 9, 1996.
Updated for youthESource in September 2015